Enlarging color negatives on b&w paper?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jesterthejedi, May 7, 2012.

  1. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    Was wondering if there are some good tips to print my color negatives on black & white paper? I have tons of negatives that would be awesome in black & white. They seem to come out somewhat gray by default.

    Thanks
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    The color negative base messes with variable contrast paper. The tone will never really be correct.

    You can try playing with the color filters, use graded paper, or try and dupe them into positives and then onto b&w neg stock.

    Though I have never used it, in the past there was special papers for use just for this application to turn color negs into correct toned b&w images. It is not sold or made anymore.
     
  3. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    At first the few attempts were very light. What filtration would you recommend? I have both multi graded and standard paper too.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I've actually had a fair bit of luck doing this but don't really have a system.

    VC paper responds to changes in the filter pack just as it does with a B&W negative; add magenta for more contrast, add yellow for less. I'd suggest making big changes like +100 from normal at first to se if your going the right way.
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    As has been said to get a correct tonal response you need to print on a panchromatic type of paper, which is a bit of a pain (no safelight). However, by using a high magenta value on multigrade paper you will get some reasonable results.
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    The paper was Kodak's Panalure. The original wasn't that great, and even the H contrast (Hard) was a bit soft. The later version, Panalure Select RC, was actually quite good and the S, M, H grades seemed accurate. I liked it and have a few prints on it that I still like. I wish someone would make such a paper again. It's just a black and white paper that's panchromatic. It has to be handled in either complete darkness or under a dim safelight made for color paper. I used it with my Duka 50 sodium safelight set for RA4 paper and never had a problem with that.

    Not just the base but the fact there are different colors in the image messes with VC paper, meaning different parts of the image can print with different contrasts. It also tends to come out looking oddly grainy, probably because of the lack of red sensitivity - any dye clouds too red just don't register at all leaving large "holes" that look like grain. Graded paper is even worse since its sensitivity is even more limited.

    Hey Simon - could Ilford make a good panchromatic paper for this, please? :wink:

    Probably the best way to do this and get good tonality might be to print onto film and reversal process for a negative, then print that. You could reversal process black and white or, heck, just use E6 if some filter experimentation could eliminate any color cast. A slight cast wouldn't hurt much, as long as it wasn't too red.
     
  7. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    My students do this all the time, and it takes a bit of experience and practice but nice images can be made. You need to increase the time and filter grade

    Think grade 4 filter and test for times.
     
  8. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I've had some success using Ilford MGIV. As has been mentioned, pump up the contrast a bit. This one was done with a #4 filter. In this case, since I was printing for hand painting, exact tonal response wasn't too important.

    tshirtshop-red.jpg
     
  9. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Oooh.... I have an unopened pack of the Panalure II RC M. Absolutely no idea how old it is or how well it has been stored. Wonder how well it keeps and if it is still any good...
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    you need to print them at maximum contrast!
     
  11. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    If you're shooting sheet film you could contact to Ilford Direct Positive, and in turn contact it to regular silver gelatin of your choice.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The Ilford direct positive paper is orthochromatic. Seems like you would not gain much from that technique.
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You're right. Anything red in the neg would not register on the paper, meaning green in the original scene would print as black or very dark.
    Panchromatic materials are required.
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    That's the prior Panalure Select, not the Select II. That means it's older and less likely to be in good shape. I thought the II worked quite well, but heard mixed reports about the prior version.
     
  17. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2012
  18. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear jesterthejedi,

    I've never tried it, but I read somewhere that lith printing works well with color negatives. Based on Ralph's response it could be because it is fairly easy to get a high contrast that way.

    Neal Wydra
     
  19. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Another vote for making the Ilford panchromatic material available in cut sheets. I had no idea such a product existed any longer, but I have many color negatives I'd like to print in black and white, and I would give it a try (but buying a 20"x100' roll is out of the question). In the last two photo classes I've taken, there were a number of other students also trying to do print color negs on VC papers.
     
  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I dropped Simon a PM to see if Ilford has any interest in this.
     
  21. paulie

    paulie Member

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    my advice is you will be dissapointed, the exposure times wil be long and contrast low, on the upside the grain is very fine
     
  22. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I sure never saw "very fine" grain when I tried printing C-41 negs on VC paper. The lack of red sensitivity resulted in big gaps that gave the effect of very coarse grain. It's a false effect as C41 is generally very fine grained stuff.

    Granted this was back in the 90s. Printed on Panalure those negs looked great, on VC they looked like crap. Maybe it was just my negatives.
     
  23. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think the Harman Digital fiber paper has a different sensitivity, designed to be exposed with very strong light sources. I hope I'm wrong.
     
  24. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Roger, stop distracting Simon. If they get sidetracked on Pan paper I'll never get Delta 50! :smile:
     
  25. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    The Harmon paper is basically a grade 3 gallerie emulsion with an red sensitivity to be sensitive to RGB lasers.
    Agfa Classic or the Adox version was initially the only paper we found that would work with the lasers, then Harmon repurposed the Gallerie paper and its the version we use since Agfa went out of business and Mirko has not been able to offer a roll version in footage worth purchasing..
    The RC version I believe is an adaptation of the Ilford mg4 with red sensitivity added.

    I think its a matter of changing the emulsions to accept laser light , not really an issue of needing very strong light sources.
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thanks for clarifying. I thought it had something to do with laser light.

    Does the added red sensitivity make the paper panchromatic? And, in your opinion, would it be suitable for using C-41 color material to make prints using standard transmission light in a standard enlarger?